Reflection on Practice
In this task I will be reflecting upon an incident undertaken on placement. The model of reflection I’ve chosen is Gibbs (1988) which involves reflection on the description, feelings, evaluation, conclusion and action plan (Gibbs 1988)
The procedure in which I will be reflecting upon is Last offices; I chose this due to how constructive and valuable it was for my personal and professional development as a student nurse.
When the death was confirmed by the medical team, the first thing we did was adhere to infection control through washing hands and applying gloves and apron(RCN 2005:C). We approached the patient through the side of the curtain instead of the front with the aim to protect the patient’s confidentiality and dignity (NMC 2008). I decided to observe at first as I realised I was inexperienced and could learn more through watching. Throughout the procedure the staff were communicating throughout which I later learnt was to keep up the standard of care given when the patient was alive. I then decided to help out with the washing and dressing of the patient and my mentor explained me the importance of documentation and identity in line with the code of conduct (NMC 2008)
Thought and Feelings
When I was told I would be expected to take part I was nervous and felt like I was being put out of my depth. However a discussion with my mentor made me feel more at ease as it gave me the opportunity to express and resolve any worries. Throughout the experience I felt calmer, even though it was a sad occasion when I felt ready to get involved and help I felt proud I was able to offer my part. I was however slightly worried I wasn’t as sad as I expected to be, and shared this with the staff who told me that being in a professional setting can make you feel like this, as you’re carrying out a duty
Evaluation and Analysis
What I think went well is I was able to identify my own abilities and how I felt. However I feel I was unprepared and could have done with more knowledge beforehand of the procedure. One of the major things I feel I’ve learnt is the importance of how the patient is still in a nurse’s care beyond living and the legal issues surrounding death and the nurses role in this part.
Conclusion and Action Plan
Looking back I feel I should have understood the patient’s history and reason of death better to understand why certain actions were taken. On top of this I could have communicated to the patient more which may have helped me feel more comfortable. Within My action plan I aim to research further into the last offices procedure, and focus on the religious and cultural differences which nurses should be aware of through reading a chapter in the royal Marsden manual (Dougherty and Lister 2008). I will also read the trusts local policy and feel more confident to ask questions. Next time this situation arises I will also ask to take more of an active role.